Super Regionals preview: Stanford and Oregon State set eyes on Omaha
After a thrilling start to the 2022 NCAA Baseball Tournament, the Road to Omaha continues for No. 2 Stanford and No. 3 Oregon State in Super Regionals.
The Cardinal and Beavers are among a field of 16 teams who will compete in a best-of-three Super Regional round series, with the eight winners advancing to the College World Series in Omaha.
It's no surprise to see multiple Pac-12 teams make it this far, as the Conference has won 29 baseball national championships, more than double the next closest conference.
The Beavers account for three of them, the most recent coming in 2018. Stanford has won two national titles, going back-to-back in 1987 and 1988.
Here's what you need to know as they continue their pursuit of another.
UConn (49-14) at No. 2 Stanford (45-15)
- Game #1: Saturday, June 11 at 7:30 p.m. PT on The Farm on ESPNU
- Game #2: Sunday, June 12 at 4 p.m. PT on The Farm on ESPN2 or ESPNU
- Game #3 (if necessary): Monday, June 13 on The Farm with game time TBD
Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year Alex Williams (8-2, 2.35 ERA) will square off against RHP Pat Gallagher (10-3,2 3.17 ERA) in this first-ever meeting between the Cardinal and Huskies.
Stanford makes its 13th Super Regional appearance and hosts for the sixth time in program history. The Cardinal is 10-2 in super regional games played at Sunken Diamond and has advanced to the College World Series in every year it has hosted a super regional.
Who to look out for at the plate vs. UConn
Eddie Park was named the Most Outstanding Player at the Stanford Regional after batting .700 (14-for-20) with five runs scored, a double and two RBIs.
Drew Bowser carries a 15-game hit streak into the Super Regional.
Tommy Troy hit .600 (12-for-20) with eight runs scored, four doubles, three homers and seven RBIs to earn All-Regional honors at the Stanford Regional.
How Stanford got here
The Cardinal finished 4-1 to win the Stanford Regional last week and opened the regional with a 20-7 victory over Binghamton - the most runs scored by Stanford in postseason history. The victory over Binghamton extended Stanford’s win streak to 17 games, one short of the program record set in 1996.
Stanford dropped game two of regional play by a final score of 5-2 against No. 13 Texas State, but would then bounce-back for consecutive victories versus No. 20 UCSB (8-4) and Texas State (8-4) to force a winner-take-all regional final on Monday against Texas State.
In the Stanford Regional elimination game, Texas State took a 3-1 lead over Stanford after scoring two runs in the top of the ninth. In the bottom of the ninth, back-to-back home runs by Drew Bowser and Tommy Troy knotted the game at 3-3.
With a Super Regional appearance on the line, freshman Trevor Haskins hit a walk-off single to rally to beat Texas State and send Stanford to Super Regionals.
How UConn got here
After going 43-13 overall and 16-5 in conference play this season, Connecticut went a perfect 3-0 in the Big East Tournament to win the Big East Championship over Xavier.
UConn would move on to the College Park Regional where they would beat Wake Forest in the opener, then face the host of the regional three times in-a-row: No. 15 Maryland.
UConn and Maryland split the first two games before the Huskies would eventually knock off the Terrapins 11-8 in an elimination game to advance to the NCAA Super Regionals.
No. 14 Auburn (40-19) at No. 3 Oregon State (47-16)
- Game #1: Saturday, June 11 at 7 p.m. PT in Corvallis on ESPN2
- Game #2: Sunday, June 12 at 7 p.m. PT in Corvallis on ESPN2
- Game #3 (if necessary): Monday, June 13 in Corvallis with game time TBD
These teams meet for the first time with OSU's Cooper Hjerpe (10-2, 2.40 ERA) facing off against Auburn's Trace Bright (4-4, 4.80 ERA).
Hjerpe has 155 strikeouts this season and needs five more to set the Oregon State record for strikeouts in a single season. The sophomore left-hander is also a finalist for both the Golden Spikes Award and Dick Howser Trophy.
OSU has appeared in seven Super Regional rounds and is 12-4 all-time in those games.
Who to look out for at the plate vs. Auburn
Justin Boyd is on a 10-game hitting streak heading into the Super Regional, hitting .468 (22-for-47) with five doubles, two home runs, seven walks and eight RBI.
Jacob Melton can become Oregon State’s single-season record holder for total bases reached as he is tied at 167 with Trevor Larnach (2018). Melton also needs three RBIs to break Adley Rutschman’s record of 83 set in 2018.
Wade Meckler needs four more runs to set the program record set by Cole Gillespie with 83 in 2006.
How Oregon State got here
The Beavers opened the Corvallis Regional with back-to-back wins against New Mexico State and San Diego to set up a matchup with Vanderbilt.
Game three for the Beavers went the way of the Commodores, forcing an elimination game between Oregon State and Vanderbilt.
Tied 6-6 in the elimination game, Matthew Gretler hit the last of three OSU home runs to give the Beavers a 7-6 lead after seven innings.
Cooper Hjerpe would secure OSU's 7-6 win over Vanderbilt after coming on in relief for the first time this season, recording his third career save. Justin Boyd and Jacob Melton also homered for the Beavers, while Kyle Dernedde went 3-for-4 with three RBI to help OSU move on to the Super Regional round.
How Auburn got here
Auburn finished the season with an overall record of 37-18 and 16-13 in SEC play.
After falling in their regular-season finale at Kentucky, the Tigers would get a rematch in the SEC Tournament opener against the Wildcats. Auburn tied it late in the SEC Tournament opener, but Kentucky would eventually rally to end Auburn's appearance in the conference tournament.
The Tigers were selected as a regional host for the NCAA Tournament and went a perfect 3-0 against Southeastern Louisiana, Florida State and UCLA to advance to the Stanford Super Regional.